Verbal working memory (VWM) engages frontal and temporal/parietal circuits subserving the phonological loop, as well as, superior and inferior cerebellar regions which have projections from these neocortical areas. Different cerebro-cerebellar circuits may be engaged for integrating aurally- and visually-presented information for VWM. The present fMRI study investigated load (2, 4, or 6 letters) and modality (auditory and visual) dependent cerebro-cerebellar VWM activation using a Sternberg task. FMRI revealed modality-independent activations in left frontal (BA 6/9/44), insular, cingulate (BA 32), and bilateral inferior parietal/supramarginal (BA 40) regions, as well as in bilateral superior (HVI) and right inferior (HVIII) cerebellar regions. Visual presentation evoked prominent activations in right superior (HVI/CrusI) cerebellum, bilateral occipital (BA19) and left parietal (BA7/40) cortex while auditory presentation showed robust activations predominately in bilateral temporal regions (BA21/22). In the cerebellum, we noted a visual to auditory emphasis of function progressing from superior to inferior and from lateral to medial regions. These results extend our previous findings of fMRI activation in cerebro-cerebellar networks during VWM, and demonstrate both modality dependent commonalities and differences in activations with increasing memory load.
- verbal working memory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Clinical Neurology